Iditarod Musher Budget

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BSSD Standards Addressed


Materials Needed

Calculators Internet service Outdoor supply catalogs


In this lesson students can address some life skills standards by researching the cost of running the Iditarod while still keeping the bills paid at home. Some writing standards can be addressed by having them write letters to corporations seeking sponsorship to help cover the cost of training and racing. Students can also address some math standards by determining how much material that their sled can haul and how their materials will need to be distributed at the checkpoints based on its volume and weight.


This is the instructions that I gave to a couple of my students that were needing to meet Life Skills 7.08. I also gave them photocopies of several blank pages from a checkbook register. I instructed them to deposit all of their "monthly income" in their checking account and to pay for all expenses by check and record each one in the register.


So you want to compete in the Iditarod. How much will it cost you to train and successfully compete in the race while continuing to pay your monthly household bills?

Lets see.....

-Give yourself a reasonable yearly income. (Reasonable would be $30,000 to $40,000 per year). Now divide this by 12 to determine your monthly income. Now comes the really painful part. Deduct 40% from your monthly income to cover taxes, social security, insurance, etc. I know, that hurt. But you get used to it, sort of. What is left is the total amount that you have to spend each month. -Now you need to determine what it is going to cost to keep your household going both while you are there and while you are away training or racing. You will want to keep your household expenses to a minimum, especially during the times that you are not there. (HINT- Do you really need that satellite TV or that cell phone? And yes, food, soap, toothpaste and toilet paper should be considered essential). What you have left after paying these monthly household expenses is the amount that you can use to pay for items needed for training and competing in the Iditarod. -Now comes the fun part! Using all of your knowledge,(as well as that of your friends, your little sister and your little sister's friends), make a detailed list of all of the items that you will need for training and successfully competing in the Iditarod. If possible you should also try to get someone that has previously competed in the Iditarod to help you with this list. Don't forget pre-race vet checks, clothing for yourself and race entry fees.(Another hint- For the most part there is absolutely nothing wrong with second hand items although second hand socks, underwear and food, no matter how cheap, are never a good idea). -Using the internet and catalogs from outdoor gear retailers find a price for each of these items. And now for the big moment! Total all of these items up. WOW!! Can you believe that total! That is what it will actually cost you to train for and compete in the iditarod. (About this time competitive ping-pong is probably starting to look good to you. How much can one of those dinky little paddles cost anyway?). -Now, given the tremendous cost of training and successfully competing in the Iditarod, (as well as your laughably small pool of available funds), how long will it be before you can afford all of the costs associated with the Iditarod? Since you have an expected lifespan of roughly 80 years and you now have evidence that it will take you approximately 17 years longer than that to afford all of these items, it might be wise to explore other ways of obtaining the funds that you so desperately need. (Yet another hint- Illegal activities used to raise funds are not a good idea as they tend to add 15 to 20 years to the time you will have to wait before competing in the Iditarod). So what to do!! -Write a letter to one or more corporate sponsors asking for their financial support. This will need to be a good, well composed and well thought out letter seeking their help. Try your best to show them that it will be to their benefit to sponsor you. Be as persuasive as you possibly can but be truthful. They will check you out if they consider sponsoring you.(Final hint- Neither Waffle House, Bubba's Pickin' Parlor or Victoria's Secret will sponsor you. I know.).

Evaluation/ Rubric

Teacher Notes




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